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Sunday Nov 22 2020
Web Desk

Not the govt's responsibility to inform Maryam of her grandmother's death: Shibli Faraz

Web Desk
Information and Broadcasting Minister Senator Shibli Faraz addresses a press conference here in Islamabad, Pakistan, November 20, 2020. —

ISLAMABAD: Information and Broadcasting Minister Senator Shibli Faraz lashed out at PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz on Sunday, stressing that the PTI government cannot be held responsible if she was not timely informed of her grandmother's death.

"It wasn't the government's responsibility to inform (Maryam) about her grandmother's death," he said.

Faraz's comment came after Maryam Nawaz revealed that she had received the news of the death of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's mother "two hours late due to suspension of phone services", accusing the incumbent PTI-led government of being inconsiderate.

"The Sharif family has a lot of people" who could have informed the PML-N leader of her grandmother's death, the minister stated. "The statement about [the government] not informing her of the death is criticism for the sake of criticism," he added.

Also read: Maryam Nawaz leaves PDM rally after grandmother's death, asks people for prayers

Earlier today, a few hours after the news of Begum Shamim Akhtar's death broke, Maryam Nawaz took to Twitter, saying: "My father and family kept trying to contact me but were unable to reach me."

"No government official was humane enough to inform me of my grandmother's death," she said.

She added she had requested her father, Nawaz Sharif, not to return to Pakistan as those who were in the government "are tyrants, are people hellbent on exacting revenge, and no humanity can be expected from them".

Faraz, the information minister, also criticised the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) for holding its rally in Peshawar earlier today despite threats of coronavirus spread, as well as security, saying doing so during a pandemic was "legally and morally wrong".

"Coronavirus does not belong to any party. It is a pandemic," he said. "Today was a great lesson for the Opposition parties; the people have rejected them."

Related: Bilawal addresses PDM Peshawar jalsa, says January will be 'govt's last month in power'

The government "could not get to know about [JI chief] Sirajul Haq's rally, but if he did hold one, it was wrong; it is wrong for any party to hold rallies", he said.

Faraz also made a jibe at the JUI-F and PDM chief Fazl-ur-Rehman, telling him to "conquer the fort of D.I. Khan first".

"The Opposition is only looking after its own interests," he said.

"Funerals are a different matter compared to rallies; we can't stop anyone from going to funerals," the federal minister noted, in an apparent reference to the hundreds of thousands of mourners who came to pay their respects to TLP chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi at his funeral a day earlier at the Minar-e-Pakistan ground in Lahore.

Read more: TLP chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi laid to rest in Lahore, thousands attend funeral

"In Peshawar, there were more people on stage than on the field," Faraz added, in yet another jibe at the Peshawar rally. "Maulana sahab (Fazlur Rehman) had fetched a few people from somewhere to attend."